PRINCESS LEIA AND THE WOMEN’S MARCH: A FITTING TRIBUTE TO CARRIE FISHER

A fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher.

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A little less than a month ago, on December 27, 2016, actress Carrie Fisher died after suffering a heart attack on a plane. Her death was followed the next day by that of her mother, Debbie Reynolds. The world, especially that part of it which (like me) was brought up on Star Wars as a staple of our pop culture, deeply mourned the loss of the classy lady who not only played Princess Leia in the movies but epitomized her. This article is not an obituary for Carrie Fisher. If you want one of those, I highly recommend the touching piece by the Burning Blogger of Bedlam giving tribute to “the people’s princess.” I loved Princess Leia. You loved Princess Leia. We all admired her courage, determination and grit. Carrie Fisher, who went through a lot of hard knocks in her life, will be greatly missed.

Yesterday (January 21, 2017), the day after the inauguration as President of the United States of a fascistic know-nothing who detests women and just about everybody else, millions of people in the United States and around the world–including even Antarctica!–took to the streets to support women’s rights, feminism, empowerment, diversity and to express in no uncertain terms their opposition to the viewpoints of President Trump. I took part in one of these marches, in Eugene, Oregon. Like everywhere else, the crowds that turned out vastly exceeded what authorities expected. There were (reportedly) 750,000 in Los Angeles and over 1 million in Washington, D.C., dwarfing the tepid and pathetic “crowd” that turned out for Trump’s lackluster inauguration. In Eugene I’m told police expected 1,000 marchers. The number who showed up? Over 10,000.

I was struck, during yesterday’s march, by one recurrent image: the face of Princess Leia as an icon of resistance.

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Carrie Fisher, as she appeared in 2015. Her outspoken views are part of the reason why Princess Leia resonates as a symbol.

I saw Carrie Fisher’s face in a lot of places. Many people, men as well as women, were carrying signs with her picture (one of them is shown at the top of this article). I saw a woman with the symbol of the Rebellion from Star Wars tattooed on her arm, and I saw a man with a patch of the same symbol on the back of his denim jacket. In one of the most touching tweets I saw about the march, Fisher’s Star Wars co-star and friend Mark Hamill referenced Leia as a symbol of women’s empowerment, linking it to Fisher’s own strongly-professed beliefs during her lifetime. His tweet included an image of a woman, evidently from the Los Angeles march, dressed as Princess Leia.

When women’s rights are under attack in real-life America, can a science fiction princess help us defend them?


Complete original post at: Princess Leia and the Women’s March: a fitting tribute to Carrie Fisher.

GAME OVER

TRANSCRIPT | THE DAILY POST DISCOVER CHALLENGE


Reality is analog. All of it. These days, people seem a bit confused about what is real (analog) and what is unreal (virtual and/or digital). I’m here to help.

Have you ever gotten a digital haircut? How about digital surgery? While I did have surgery to implant a digital device to remind my heart to beat and my husband wears digital hearing aids, most of real life is deeply, substantively, painfully, gloriously analog.

realitychangedmylifeFor the past week, I have been having a recurring non-digital, significantly analog experience: I am giving myself a haircut. This involves a real pair of sharp, stainless steel hair shears and a lot of snipping of my real hair with those analog scissors. This is a process in which it is important to know if you analogically slip a snip, you cannot hit “undo” and replace a clump of hair. So you do it slowly, in stages. A clip or two at a time. No computers or other devices involved. Just … little analogic bits of hair falling gently and not virtually or digitally into your sink and down your neck.

If you are having trouble distinguishing the difference between analogical reality and virtual reality, here are some guidelines:

  • If it makes you bleed, it’s analog.
  • If it hurts, it’s analog.
  • If it goes away when you turn off the device, it’s digital — and probably virtual.
  • If you can fix it by reloading or hitting “undo”? Digital, virtual. Not real.
  • If it looks like something out of Mordor and has scales, fangs, weird horns and is speaking in a strange tongue? It’s probably virtual but it also might be drug-related. Please check to see if you have been smoking or drinking (or both) before making assumptions. However, if it bites you with its fangs and removes a piece of you? And this event is followed by bleeding and pain? Toss the goggles and run. That is reality. Biting you.

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Here’s the clincher: If you are doing something virtual while doing something analog, for example texting while driving? You may encounter the ultimate analog experience. Death. Game over.

FASTEN YOUR SEATBELT – IT’S GOING TO BE A BUMPY RIDE

Life is a road which urgently needs repaving. It’s so full of pot-holes, rocks, broken branches, quicksand and mud, it’s amazing anyway can navigate the whole distance. What makes repaving plans tricky is no two people travel the same road. Too many roads!

Okay, sure, sometimes paths cross … even run side-by-side for miles — years — at a time. But even when they cross or run parallel, they aren’t a single road.

It’s like a family with three kids. Say you’ve got an older brother and a younger sisters. Your brother becomes a business man and lives a pretty normal life while your sister discovers her own version of  chaos theory. She proceeds to live a life of crisis and yeah, chaos. Not theory, but the real deal. As for you, you’re not entirely sane, but compared to your sister, you’re solidly grounded. That’s worrisome because you know the weird stuff going around in your head.

Yet all three of you had the same parents and as far as anyone can see, more or less the same upbringing.

So, I guess that road is going to stay uneven. Life will continue to be unfair. It will leave many of us looking skyward, searching for answers and sometimes, for questions.

We have great parents, crappy lives. Horrible parents, amazing lives. That’s just life. Infinitely variable, lumpy, bumpy, and charmingly uneven.

UNEVEN | THE DAILY POST

RELAX – IT’S JUST LIFE! 10 GUIDELINES FOR A POST-TRUTH WORLD.

Relax. Chill. Take it easy, dude. Whatever it is, it can wait. Hurrying won’t get you anywhere faster, at least not anywhere you want to go.

1 – Everyone has ancestors that go back to the dawn of time. Just, some of you know their names.

2 – A good genetic package will keep you alive and kicking better and longer than even the healthiest lifestyle. I know a lot of people who indulged in orgies of drugs, booze, and all kinds of bad behavior. It looks like they will outlive all of us.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards - The Rolling Stones are still rolling along, and gathering no moss.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards – The Rolling Stones are still rolling along, and gathering no moss.

3 – It’s not what you don’t know that will get you. It’s what you do know that’s wrong.

4 – The truth will not set you free, but if you shout it from the rooftops, it will get you incarcerated.

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5 – In the arts, dogged determination cannot overcome an absence of talent.

6 – In the real world, you don’t get medals for being “the hardest tryer.”

7 – Size matters.

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8 – Your opinion is not as good as anybody else’s. An opinion backed by study, knowledge and genuine insight is better than yours.

9 – The hare beat the tortoise, but the tortoise had a better public relations department. History is written by the winners.

10 – You cannot always achieve your dream, no matter how hard you work. Sometimes, you need to go back to sleep, then dream something different.


Relax. It’s just life. Roll like a stone, slither like a snake, buzz like a bee. Wait for signs.

RELAX | THE DAILY POST

ALMOST. NOT QUITE.

Expect the unexpected, because something will happen. Always.

When I was newly back from Israel, I took a three-day weekend from my new job to visit friends in San Diego. I bought a carry-on bag (I love luggage). Got tickets to San Diego — not easy because flights to California from New York typically end in Oakland, SF, or LA — none of which are close to San Diego. I finally found one with just a single connection. That was as good as it would get, so I took it along with all my vacation time at work.

I got to La Guardia on time and ready to go, but the plane never made it. Four hours later, the plane was MIA and my connecting flight in Salt Lake City came and went without me. I demanded my money back

The perky young thing at the ticket counter explained, “These are non-refundable tickets. See? It says so right here. We can get you on a flight to Los Angeles tomorrow afternoon. How’s that?” My sense of humor had gone missing with my aircraft.

“Los Angeles is more than 3 hours drive from San Diego and I don’t have a car. By the time I got there — if I got there — I’d have to turn around and come straight back. I’ve paid for taxis and lost my holiday time. All I got is a long day in your waiting room. Either get me on a plane for San Diego now or give me my money back.”

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I got the refund. Took a taxi home. Spent the long weekend feeling sorry for myself. I never made it San Diego, though I did see those friends a few years later — at least for a couple of hours. But, eventually, we lost touch. Distance only makes the heart grow fonder if there is a likelihood of ever seeing that person again. Otherwise, after a while, there seems no point in fighting to retain a connection.

Our fondest illusion is that we are in control. Architects of our destiny. That’s the promise we get from our parents while we are growing up. It goes hand in glove with the big lie, that if you do “life” right, you are sure to get what you want. All you have to do is keep trying. We know — because “they” told us — that good work will be rewarded. Kindness will be returned. If we eat right, keep fit, and exercise we’ll be healthy. Forever. Bad things won’t happen to us.

From the little stuff — flights cancelled, vacations rained out — to failed marriages and careers crashed, life strips us of illusions. But what’s left is real, solid, and true. Is that such a bad thing?

We are passengers on the bus that is life. We aren’t driving. We don’t even know what road we’re on, or our destination. Sometimes, it’s worth reconsidering your options. Stop trying to wrestle the steering wheel out of the driver’s hands. The bus is going where it’s going. Enjoy the ride.

Life is not about where you end up. It’s about the journey.

COME YE FAITHFUL PILGRIMS COME …

Thanksgiving is getting to be less and less of a big day around here. As family fragments and rearranges, and partners change, the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. To be fair, I was never passionate about turkey. A day of gorging has not been a great pleasure for quite a while. It used to be the day to see people I didn’t see the of the rest of the year, but that has fizzled.

Thanksgiving is a huge meal my son is preparing and we are invited to share. And that’s good. I wish it felt like it meant more. I’m trying to dredge up a bit more enthusiasm. My holiday spirit seems to have gone walkabout.

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Keeping this reality in mind, here are Cee’s questions for the week:

What are you grateful for — about:


Your home life?

That I’ve got Garry and he has me. And the dogs. We have a home and I’m grateful for it.

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Your family?

What few remnants of family remain, I’m grateful we are still in touch and on good terms.

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Your blogging community?

So many smart, talented people! Love you all!

Your city or immediate area in which you live?

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Keep the rivers flowing, the flowers growing. May the woods and fields thrive and there be a spring after the long winter is done.

The regional area in which you live?

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New Englanders. Can’t fool them. We knew who was a fraud, who was real. We may have some harsh weather to deal with, but we don’t have a lot of fools.

The country where you live?

Let me put a pin in this one for the moment. I’m terribly disappointed in my country. And sad. We are supposed to be the nation that other nations admire and look up to. Guess not any more, eh? I hope we find our way back to ourselves.

You?

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I’m here. Not dead yet!

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

These days, I’m just glad to have survived last week and made it into this one.

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Grateful for the lovely weather last week. I’ll get back to you on next week. And other things.

CEE’S SHARE YOUR WORLD

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PLAY BALL! – GARRY ARMSTRONG

I am a lifelong baseball fan. When October rolls around, I can smell baseball in the wind, I can hear it in the rustling autumn leaves.It’s World Series time again! The Red Sox are not playing in it, but that doesn’t mean we can’t cheer from the sidelines. It’s been a long time since either contending team had a Big Win.

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Even though our team  isn’t in it, it has been an interesting season.

Last year’s last place Sox made the first round of this year’s playoffs. How did they do that? How do you take a losing team and become an (erratically) successful team in one year? Two years ago, they went from world champions to last place in a season, so I suppose the magic goes both ways. They achieved the leap both times without major lineup changes or anything weird happening with owners.

Improved esprit de corps? Better coaching? Something in the water? Wanting to give Big Papi a great send-off? But, I digress.

Go Cleveland! Go Cubs!

Spectator sports give all of us less talented lovers of the game a chance to participate, if not on the field, at least in the recliner. We all yearn for our personal “walk-off home run” at the big game. These days, it might be a really great night out at our favorite Sushi bar … or a little spare money to spend on something frivolous. Maybe a new lens for one of the cameras?

Mind you, we are not unhappy. Life continues to be engaging, entertaining, amusing, satisfying. Fun.

We’ve had to adjust. Find different ways to have a good time. We aren’t going to be partying all night (did we ever enjoy that, really?). Or taking long road trips. Life is not picking on us personally. Everyone has to adapt. We change. Our world changes. Unless you want to be one of the people who sits around grumbling about the “good old days” and how nothing is as like it used to be, we need to find things to enjoy and new ways to do them. It requires an effort of will to make it happen … and maybe a bit of creative thinking.

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Meanwhile, back in the stadium, the grand game — America’s Pastime — is being played out for our great enjoyment. The leaves may be falling from the trees (it was a spectacular display this Autumn), and to top it off, like the cherry on top of the banana split, we get our October classic … which could possibly run into November (but most likely, won’t).

Okay, all of these philosophical meanderings are prologue to the Frank Capra-resque World Series which begins tonight. The long-suffering Chicago Cubs versus the blue-collar Cleveland Indians. It’s Gary Cooper against Henry Fonda. Plenty of heroes and no villains except maybe the umps. It’s the sons of Tinker to Evers to Chance taking on the ghosts of Bob Feller, Al Rosen, Larry Doby and Vic Wertz.

I was collecting my first baseball cards when the Indians last won the World Series in 1948. My maternal Grandfather had just turned 21 when the Cubs won their last World Series in 1908. I still remember the stories he shared with me about those long ago Cubbies when I was still wearing short pants.

In those days, we wondered if our beloved Brooklyn Dodgers would ever beat the dreaded Yankees in the World Series. Thus began a lifetime of always rooting for the underdog. Angst has ever been a part of my DNA while rooting for my teams. So often defeat has been snatched from the veritable jaws of victory.

I felt nearer my God to thee when my hero Duke Snider and Brooklyn’s Boys of Summer finally defeated the damn Yankees for the 1955 World Series.  Apple-faced southpaw Johnny Podres was the unlikely pitching hero.

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Forty-nine years later, I stared in disbelief at the television as the Boston Red Sox won their first World Series after 87 jinxed years. It was the icing on the cake after a historic comeback in the American League Championship Series against the Yankees, finally exorcising the curse of the Bambino.

I recall describing my love of baseball to Teddy Ballgame, the legendary Ted Williams. Williams didn’t usually spend time with the media. But Teddy and I shared a link to John Wayne who I’d met and with whom I’d shared stories about legends. Duke admired Boston’s #9 and Williams liked Wayne’s no-nonsense screen heroes.

The movie “Field of Dreams” comes closest to capturing my love affair with baseball. Beyond your favorite team, there’s the love of the game, its complex drama and generations of heroes.

It doesn’t take a Hoyt Wilhelm-Tim Wakefield knuckleball to understand why baseball is a religion for some of us, especially in this year of political upheaval. The Cubs-Indians World Series will be a breath of fresh air from the toxic world of Orange Head and his minions.

See you at the park. Let’s play ball!